Go Behind The Walls of Rarely Seen Places And Buildings as Dallas Architecture Month Celebrates All Sides of The City

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Architecture360 Tour

This year’s Architecture360 is sure to attract a wide audience this year, thanks to AIA Dallas and Dallas Center for Architecture‘s hard work. The organizations have sought out the coolest and most interesting behind-the-scenes locations for their “Place-A-Day series,” which includes a tour of a new spot inside the city with a never-before-seen perspective.

“Architecture is an important part of our city – it tells the story of our past, present and future and serves as a barometer for cultural change and development,” says  Jan Blackmon, FAIA, executive director of AIA Dallas and Dallas Center for Architecture. “Architecture360 hopes to inspire everyone to engage in the conversation about the environment we live, work, and play in. Exploring our city’s architecture, we hope, helps more people look at Dallas in a new way.”

Dallas Boneyard Tour La Terra Studio
Dallas Parks and Recreation’s Area 52, or architectural boneyard. Photo: La Terra Studio.

There are some pretty cool locations in this year’s monthlong celebration of Dallas architecture, some of which you’d expect (Fair Park, Arboretum Children’s Garden) and some you won’t (Dallas’ architectural boneyard, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts). There will be a “Family Feud” event testing the knowledge of Dallas architects, and the series also includes several free skyline tours in locations all over downtown’s diverse districts, including the West End, Arts District, Main Street, and Klyde Warren Park.

There’s also a jazz age garden party at NorthPark Center, where ticketholders and VIPs can celebrate the “RETROSPECT” exhibition hosted at this unique shopping center. The exhibition runs from April 3 to 13, and includes 20 three-dimensional displays crafted by architects. The displays help to illustrate placemaking, or how architecture relates to people.

For a full list of events, jump!

4/2, 5-7 p.m., freeExhibition: The Architecture of Booker T. Washington High School. This open-to-the-public exhibition will explore Booker T. Washington’s long and storied architectural heritage. The exhibition will feature the work designed by Lang and Witchell in 1922 as well as the renovation of the original building by Booziotis and Company Architects and an addition by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture in 2008. Location: Booker T. Washington High School-Hudson Gallery, 2501 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201


4/3-13, during NorthPark Center hours, freeExhibition: RETROSPECT. More than 100,000 attendees visit AIA Dallas’ annual architect-created exhibition at the architecturally revered NorthPark Center. This year’s 20 exhibitors will showcase three-dimensional displays, expressing the architect’s representation of architecture connecting people. Many imaginative visuals give a glimpse of current architecture trends not only in Dallas, but also internationally, as firms display their works from around the world. The exhibits will be displayed in the concourse connecting Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Location: NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225


4/3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $45 VIP or $25 General Admission – Place-A-Day: RETROSPECT Garden Party. After touring the 24th annual AIA Dallas RETROSPECT exhibition, guests donning dapper garden-party duds are invited to NorthPark Center courtyard for a reception catered by Bread Winners Café. Live music is by the Matt Tolentino Band playing jazz of the 1920s and 1930s, and there will be a chance to win door prizes. VIP tickets include an additional drink ticket, a second chance to win multiple door prizes, and free valet parking. Limited attendance. Register here. Location: Bread Winners Café at NorthPark Center 8687 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225


4/5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. free with admission to the Children’s Garden – Place-A-Day: Beyond the Kaleidoscope at the Dallas Arboretum. Explore the ways nature influences architecture at the Kaleidoscope gallery of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden of the Dallas Arboretum. Symmetry. Patterns. Math equations. These are all things architects have used over the centuries to inspire their work.  During this family-friendly activity, participants will have the same opportunity with some hands-on activities that will let the world around them inspire their architectural creation. Location: Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218


Throughout the month, various times and locations – Arts District, West End and Main Street Walking Tours and Klyde Warren Park Skyline360 Tour. The Dallas Center for Architecture will host several walking and skyline tours throughout the month, highlighting the Dallas Arts District, Main Street, West End and the Dallas Skyline. The tours last approximately 25 minutes to two hours and are held rain or shine. Register here. Check the website for meeting locations and dates.


4/8, 6:30 p.m., free – Dallas Architecture Forum Panel Discussion: Dallas’ Emerging Neighborhood ‘Hot Spots’: Will They Survive? Marcel Quimby, FAIA, a distinguished leader in Dallas’ preservation community, will moderate a panel on the growth of neighborhood ‘hot spots’ in Dallas. Those long awaited retail and entertainment developments are providing a much-anticipated amenity for inner-city residents. The panel will discuss the secrets to ‘hot spot’ development and their continued success, as well as whether planning and success nurture or impair these largely organic developments. Location: Dallas Center for Architecture, 1909 Woodall Rodgers Frwy, Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75201


4/10, 2:00-3:30 p.m., $20 – Place-A-Day: Boneyard Tour. Dallas Parks & Recreation Director Willis Winters, FAIA will lead a tour of the Architectural Bone Yard, a.k.a. “Area 52″, located in the maintenance yard in East Dallas that is not open to the public. The “boneyard” is the final resting place of some notable architectural fragments salvaged from Dallas buildings during demolition. The collection includes the cast stone pieces from the 1922 Dallas Architectural Club, the gold rings from the Gold Ring Parking Garage, and the entire limestone cartouche from the Titche’s downtown store. Limited self-parking. Register here. Location: 5620 Parkdale Drive Dallas, TX 75227


4/11, 5-6:30 p.m., free – Place-A-Day: Fair Park Walking and Tram Tour. Noted preservation architect Nancy McCoy, FAIA, will lead a tour of Fair Park, a National Historic Landmark. The 277-acre site hosted the 1936 Texas Centennial and is the largest existing collection of Art Moderne architecture in the country. The tour will include both walking and tram-riding components. Meet at Magnolia Lounge across from the Old Mill and Big Tex Circle. RSVP by emailing jason@fairpark.org. Location: Magnolia Lounge, 1121 First Ave., Dallas, TX, 75315


4/13, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., $40-$65, Preservation Dallas Spring Architectural Tour – State-Thomas Historic District. Join Preservation Dallas as it presents a spring tour in the 2013 Neighborhood Achievement Award winning historic district. The tour will kick off with continental breakfast and a discussion lead by Virginia McAlester, Judy Smith Hearst and Patricia Meadows. The tour will commence through private residences and re-adapted former homes, several of them being Preservation Achievement Award recipients. Register hereLocation: Hotel ZaZa Art House and Social Club for check-in and lecture, 2400 McKinney Ave.


4/19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free – Place-A-Day: Build Your City! at Klyde Warren Park. This family-friendly hands-on building activity is for kids of all ages as participants build a city from the ground up. Participants will be given individual plots of “land” to build on and will be asked to explore different styles of buildings and how the buildings connect to different Dallas neighborhoods. Build Your City! is generously supported by Michaels. Location: Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201


4/21, 6 p.m. free – Place-A-Day: AIA Dallas’ Firmily Feud: An Architecture Game Show at Main Street Garden. Teams of city leaders, architects and the media will face-off in the architecture-version of Family Feud. Dallas’ own Robert Wilonsky will serve as the game show host and challenge these teams to name the most popular responses to various Dallas architecture-related questions that street teams posed to a cross-section of the general public weeks leading up to the event. Attendees are encouraged to grab a drink and enjoy watching how these city experts answer some hilarious questions, and how in-touch the contestants are with the general public on all things design. Location: Main Street Garden, 1902 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201


4/24, 12 noon – 1:00 p.m., free – Place-A-Day: Tour of 400 N. Ervay/Dallas Federal Building. Architect Norman Alston will lead a tour of 400 North Ervay, a building originally home to the United States Post Office, the Federal Court System, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and numerous other government offices and agencies that has since been restored and elegantly redefined into residences. The five-story, 100,000+ square foot building is crafted in Indiana Limestone and features marble stairways, terra cotta tile hallways, expansive windows, intricately carved wood wainscoting and fresco painted ceilings. The tour will also include a look into the historic courtroom where Judge Sarah T. Hughes presided over Roe v. Wade.  At the conclusion of the tour, we will visit The Hospitality Sweet coffee shop on the first floor of the building with its architect Kelly Mitchell, AIA. To RSVP, e-mail info@DallasCFA.com and include “400 N. Ervay” in the subject line. Location: 400 N Ervay St, Dallas, TX 75201


4/30, 6 p.m. $10, Dallas Center for Architecture – Place-A-Day: Architecture Off The Page “The Buildings Of Texas” Book Signing. The Dallas Center for Architecture and Preservation Dallas are hosting a talk and book signing of the first series of books to document – in its entirety and with expert scholarship – Texas’ architectural heritage from pre-statehood days to the present. This presentation will be on Volume One: Central, South Central, South, and Gulf Coast Regions with a preview of the second volume to be published in 2016. RSVP to info@DallasCFA.com. Include “Book Talk” in the subject line. Anna Mod, Gerald Moorhead, FAIA and Willis Winters, FAIA will speak at the event. Location: Dallas Center for Architecture, 1909 Woodall Rodgers Frwy, Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75201



Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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